Isonzo mouth, Cona island and Panzano Gulf

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
The Isonzo river meets the north Adriatic Sea some 30 km west of Trieste. There are saltmarshes, reedbeds, mudflats and sandbars, riparian woods, wet grasslands and agricultural areas. Panzano Gulf is an open sea bay. The main human activities are nature conservation, tourism, hunting, fishing, mussel-collecting and agriculture.

Key biodiversity
Panzano Gulf is important for wintering waterbirds, with internationally important numbers of Anas penelope and Bucephala clangula. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aythya nyroca (max. 4, winter). More than 280 species have been recorded, of which 70 breed.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
An important threat is the disturbance of birds by visitors and mussel-collectors along the seashore. Some or all of the site is covered by a management plan. The area is a proposed Ramsar Site and is already partially managed as a Wildlife Sanctuary (Isola della Cona), with ongoing projects to restore wetland habitat and to introduce Anser anser as a breeding species. Since 1988 the Osservatorio Faunistico della Provincia di Gorizia has been managing a bird-ringing station in the area.

Protected areas
National Partial International Unknown2,400 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Reserve (Foci Isonzo, 2,400 ha). Overlaps with SPA.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Isonzo mouth, Cona island and Panzano Gulf. Downloaded from on 15/06/2021.